Last week, I explained how my book had gotten away from me and announced plans to go through, slash and burn, delete everything that wasn't working and start again.
This week, I actually had to do it. (Funny how that works.)
The biggest problem was the relationship between my two lead characters, Lauren Briggs and Seth Danzinger, childhood friends who grow up and... well, it's a romance novel, no spoilers needed. Somehow, though, in my writing the first few chapters, their relationship evolved into a girl with a crush on an older guy who is completely oblivious to her feelings (or, at the very least, pretending to be). And that's not the relationship I wanted to write, at all.
Naturally, the first thing I had to do was delete all the interactions that gave that impression. Then I had to rewrite those interactions so that they gave the impression I wanted to give. (You can judge for yourselves whether or not I succeeded by going to: http://alinaadamsmedia.com/live/, the site where I am writing my book live with real-time feedback, and searching for "8/20/14," the latest revision date.)
But, the challenging part was, I had to rewrite those interactions to completely change the tone of Lauren and Seth's relationship, while still keeping the relevant plot points in place in order for subsequent scenes I'd already written to work.
There was also the matter of time passing. Personally, I love family sagas. Big, sweeping stories where readers get to watch characters age from kids to adults, and see everything that makes them who they are along the way.
Well, maybe not everything. No matter how much I love sagas, a day by day chronology would still be pretty dull. You've got to pick the exciting parts and skim over the rest. But you've got to skim over them somewhat gracefully.
With the rewrite, I know had to jump ahead three years in time. I considered taking inspiration from one of my favorite books, "The Princess Bride" (all the good stuff you love from the movie, plus a whole lot more!) and just writing, "What, with one thing and another, three years passed."
Since my project is a collaboration with readers, I asked for suggestions, and got some pretty good ones. The end result can also be found at: http://alinaadamsmedia.com/live/.
Check it out and let me know what you think because, for the first time in my 20 year writing career, I'm putting together a book not to please editors, agents or reviewers, but a book to please only the readers! I can't do this without you!